Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 1

Office 365

Office 365 is now an established and popular product. I just finished a 6 country tour where I met top 40 customers who are in various stages of deploying Office 365. I have made a list of common mistakes / wrong approaches / misaligned priorities / counterproductive behavior. Read on to ensure that you don’t repeat these mistakes. More importantly, if you have already committed the mistake, the corrective approach is also provided. This series is more relevant to CIO, IT team and the deployment teams.

What are Office 365 Worst Practices

These are like the Don’ts part of Do’s and Don’ts. But there is more to it. Read this article to understand the concept: Introducing a new concept: Worst Practices

Office 365 Worst Practices

Mistakes can happen at various stages of the product adoption lifecycle. Here is the list. I will keep this list updated in future as I notice more mistakes.

This list may look long and scary. But remember that each organization will not commit all mistakes. It is always a subset. Typically the good practice is reverse of the bad practice.

The list given below is a long one. I will be writing detailed articles on these topics in future. The detailed articles are listed here: Knowledge Pack: Office 365 Worst Practices

  • Evaluation
    • Evaluation is purely technical and superficial
    • End users are rarely involved
    • Top Management is not aware of the potential benefit of the platform
    • ROI calculations, if any are superficial and do not consider the potential efficiency benefits at every user level
    • Primary objective is conversion of CAPEX to OPEX or some kind of licensing convenience
    • Furthermore, primary objective is reducing cost rather than increasing efficiency
  • Planning
    • Planning is done based upon convenience of IT team
    • User release is planned in phases
    • Intranet is the first step in SharePoint usage
    • Collaboration is never considered the primary goal
    • Products are considered in isolation – integration opportunities are missed
    • Business Needs are not mapped to Platform features (or not done comprehensively)
    • IT is in-charge of planning and adoption. There is no business user representation.
  • Deployment
    • Waiting for users to ask for Upgrade (especially for Office client)
    • Office deployment does not include Power Query (2013) and Power Map (2010 onwards)
    • OneDrive is provided in isolation (not along with team sites)
    • Early adopter setting (First Release) is not activated
  • Adoption / Consumption
    • Office itself is never covered as a part of adoption activities
      (because everyone thinks they already know it!)
    • The approach is short-term – launch and forget!
    • Training programs are not mandatory
    • Training is imparted in isolation (product specific)
    • Usage Reports are not utilized to assess the consumption
    • There is no person or team in-charge of ensuring maximum ROI on a long term basis
    • There is nobody responsible for informing users when new and useful features are introduced on an ongoing basis
  • Integration
    • Integration with user desktop is not fully utilized (not even known in many cases)
    • Server side, pre-integrated components are often missed (Delve, Groups, Boards, eDiscovery, Records Management, DLP)

What next

It is a long list (and by no means a complete one). I will address all these issues in the upcoming articles and provide recommended best practices / more reasonable approach / conceptual guidance.

Do post the “worst practices” you have noticed. Your comments and suggestions are also welcome.

Related Articles

Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 1 (this article)
Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 2 – Phased Release: Underutilization by Design!
Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 3 – Nobody is officially responsible for effective utilization
Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 4 – CXOs don’t understand its benefits

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